In reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO is preparing to deploy a force of 300,000 soldiers on high alert. Keir Simmons of NBC News provides updates from the summit of the group in Madrid.
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, this week’s summit in Madrid will approve the alliance’s most important change in a generation, putting 300,000 troops in a state of high readiness in case Russia invades Ukraine.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the western alliance would also increase deployments close to Russia, marking a historic shift from the post-cold war era, when military spending was cut and troops were withdrawn from eastern Europe. This will shift the focus from deterring any invasion to a full defence of allied territory.
The military alliance’s presence in the Baltic States and five other frontline nations would be bolstered “up to brigade levels,” or doubled or tripled to between 3,000 and 5,000 troops, as per Stoltenberg, according to the Guardian.
According to him, that would be “the biggest revamp of our collective defence and deterrence since the cold war,” and he made that statement before the 30-nation alliance’s gathering, which takes place this week from Tuesday to Thursday.
Stoltenberg stated, “We never reveal the specifics of operational plans. “However, I can promise you that we have successfully protected Russia’s bordering nations for many years by changing our presence in accordance with threat assessments. We’ve done that before, and we’ll do it once more.
The proposed adjustment amounts to a significant overhaul in response to Russian militarization and will affect the rapid-response Nato Response Force, which now has 40,000 members.
According to the plans, NATO would also relocate its inventories of ammunition and other supplies farther east. This shift is expected to be complete in 2023, according to the Guardian.
The Secretary General said he was unable to guarantee the status of Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO membership bids because Turkey’s concerns remained unresolved.
According to Stoltenberg, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has agreed to meet with Sauli Niinisto of Finland and Magdalena Andersson of Sweden on Tuesday in Madrid to try to find a solution.
However, he downplayed expectations for a breakthrough at the conference held in conjunction with the NATO event. He said at a press conference that it was too early to predict what kind of progress could be made by the meeting.